Last night, Texas was much closer to 40th in Rivals.com‘s team recruiting rankings than they were to their usual spot inside the Top 25. When National Signing Day officially began, UT was still outside of that Top 25.
Now? The projected wave of signings has come to fruition, pushing the Longhorns to, as of the time of this posting, No. 12 in Rivals’ rankings. That number could very well be inside the Top 10 before the day is out as the Longhorns are considered the favorites by some to land three recruits who will make their announcements later today: four-star defensive tackle D’Andre Christmas-Gilles and a pair of three-star tackles — Jordan Elliott and Stephon Taylor.
While some have been highly critical of Charlie Strong during his time in Austin, this late surge is unprecedented in the program’s history. “In the Internet era of recruiting, the Texas Longhorns landed only one prospect on National Signing Day while Mack Brown was the head coach,” BurntOrangeNation.com wrote prior to the start of signing day.
Just a little before noon today, Strong & Company have already landed four commitments, three from four-stars — defensive tackle Chris Daniels, defensive end Erick Fowler, linebacker Jeffrey McCulloch — and one from a three-star — defensive tackle Marcel Southall.
The big question, though, is whether Strong can translate these recruiting victories into on-field wins. If not, the once-storied program will again be searching for a savior to resurrect it once again.
UPDATED 12:04 p.m. ET: In the latest update to Rivals.com‘s team rankings, Texas has moved up to No. 10, 25 points ahead of No. 11 Florida and 45 behind No. 9 Notre Dame.